A few years back I organized about two dozen volunteers to clean up the trash left on Mount Tapachou after the Good Friday celebration and picked up about 1000 Joe James Norita Camacho water bottles. Joe was running for the local House of Representatives at the time and was handing out free bottles of water at the bottom of the mountain. As people walked towards the summit they threw the bottles on the ground. I picked most of them up and have been harboring a grudge ever since.
Yeah, Mr. Litterbug, I'm talking to you!
The reason I bring up this story three years after the fact is because the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety both carry stories about Joe defending his campaign manager, Felix Nogis, in federal court for littering at American Memorial Park last Sunday. The way the story was written didn't make it sound like it was a big offense. The Saipan Tribune reports that "it was determined in the follow-up investigation that the table used for the party had been reserved by Nogis." "The table" to me means one table. I read it like Felix went to the beach with his family and left a trash bag or two next to a table.
That's not exactly what happened.
The trash that was left was from a campaign rally celebrating Joe's birthday. Hundreds of people were in attendance, including the governor, other elected officials, and most of the cabinet. This wasn't a case of littering; it was illegal dumping!
And there are pictures on Facebook proving their guilt! I lifted just a few and reposted them here:
That is so disrespectful! What kind of person would dump garbage at a national park?
When I first saw the story I had to wonder why Joe was defending a litter bug. I mean, the guy is running for Congress. Doesn't he know this is going to cost him some votes? Joe might save his friend from paying a fine and doing some community service, but at what cost?
Thousands of people have participated in cleanups on Saipan. In fact, three days before his campaign manager was cited for littering over 2000 people participated in an island wide cleanup. I'd be pissed if the guy who wanted to represent me in Congress was dumping garbage on the same weekend I was cleaning it up.
She's going to hate me for saying this, but the Covenant Party should have run Cinta Kaipat as their delegate candidate. Cinta was barely 300 votes shy of becoming a senator in the last election, is widely respected for the work she has done with Beautify CNMI and is a loyal supporter of the Covenant Party. Joe, on the other hand, has loyalty issues. He has professed to adhere to three different political philosophies in as many years and actually campaigned for the incumbent two years ago.